About to pack your bags and hit the road? Don’t think of your next trip as just a vacation. Travel can actually help boost your resume
Travel can help you gain experience and give you new skills, say career expert Dr. R. Kay Green, CEO/President, RKG Marketing Solutions LLC. Don’t include travel under work experience on your resume unless it was a job abroad or an internship, but do a separate heading on your resume or include in your cover letter to discuss your international skills--it could give you a boost above other applicants.
Here is what can travel show to potential employers, says Green:
• Communication skills. If you have spent any time in a foreign country, it illustrates that you have good communication skills (even if you don’t speak a foreign language). This could come in handy when applying to a company with international scope. Travel will prove you are sensitive to other cultures, so that you might not make a big gaffe when dealing with international clients.
• That you are flexible. Having international travel shows your ability to adapt to new situations. Being able to think on your feet is a big plus when applying for jobs that are fast paced.
• Planning skills are also tested when traveling internationally.
• Having international travel will also show you can think out of the box--that you have a broader perspective of the world--or even your own country--than the applicant who has never traveled anywhere, especially outside of the United States.
But does just any travel help your resume? Green says yes. "A combination of both pleasure and business travel can enhance your experiences significantly. Business travel allows you to develop a greater understanding of one’s business and cultural practices, while personal travel allows you to appreciate and enjoy one’s culture," Green says.
There are certain destinations, however, that are a plus for potential employers to see that you have spent time in for business. These include countries that are current business hot spots, such as, says Green, "Abu Dhabi, UAE; South Africa; Beijing, China; Slovenia; Zaragoza, Spain; Brazil; India; Lago Maggiore; and Shanghai."
But, like Dr. Kay noted, personal travel can pay off as well, especially major destinations such as Paris, France; Barcelona, Spain; London; New York City; Maui; Montreal; Vancouver; Zurich; Edinburgh; Puerto Rico; U.S. Virgin Islands; Washington D.C.; Budapest; and Prague. In the United States, having knowledge of such cities as Baltimore; Miami Beach; San Diego; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; and Austin are great for employers to know as well, says Green.
When traveling, says Green, try and soak up as much of the local culture as possible. Learn how the city works. Check out the business districts.